Generally speaking, cycling should be fun, and a great way to relieve stress. However, for some of us, cycling tends to cause a bit of stress, mostly because we psych ourselves out worrying about or dreading things that we really shouldn’t. Cycling should be a challenge, that’s part of the fun, but you shouldn’t get stressed about it.
Fortunately, it’s a problem that can be easily fixed. Here are some tips from Dr. Jim Taylor, an expert psychologist, former Ironman triathlete, and author of Prime Sport: Triumph of the Athlete Mind, that should help you eliminate stress and make cycling fun again.
How Do We Stress Ourselves Out?
Lacking Motivation and/or Confidence – The first problem, and arguably the foundation for all those to follow, is that many of us simply lack confidence in ourselves.
Daily cycling, especially if you’re training for an event, can seriously wear you down. Dr. Taylor says that generally motivated people who are feeling less so are probably mentally exhausted. Even if you don’t feel like you’re tired, your lack of motivation could be remedied with a few days’ rest.
Secondly, confidence goes hand in hand with experience. If you stick with it, you will continue to build experience, which then turns into confidence and motivation.
Poor Preparation – Has anyone ever told you that preparation is the key to success? Well, it’s true. If you start riding without wearing the right clothes or gear, forget water or a mid-ride snack, or fail to plan out your route, you may be creating unnecessary tension for yourself.
This is a simple one to fix says Dr. Taylor; just make sure you get prepared prior to taking off. A handy tip is to keep a “go-bag” ready at all times. Keep it stocked with a power bar, bottled water, spare tube, etc. That way you can just grab it and go.
Fear of Injury – This one is more understandable. Compared to car accidents, bicycle accidents happen slightly more often per capita, but don’t let it psych you out. Being scared of injury should not deter you from enjoying simple pleasures, like riding a bike.
Similar to the previous issue, the best remedy is to get prepared. With good planning, and by learning a little bike safety, you can drastically decrease your chances of being hit.
San Diego bicycle accident attorney Frederick M. Dudek is an avid cyclist himself, and understands the hardships riders face every day. He is dedicated to helping fellow cyclists get back on their feet after being knocked down.